Merton GP Warns Of Need For Long-Term Support Of Covid Survivors

Local health professionals discuss rehabilitation of vulnerable people

Health group meeting

Merton GP Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam top right expresses concerns about the long-term health of coronavirus survivors. Credit: South West London CCG.

As the lockdown begins to ease, the attention of health professionals is turning to the long-term health of coronavirus survivors. 

In Merton, this is a big focus for GP borough lead Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam. At a South West London Clinical Commissioning Group meeting on Wednesday (July 1) he said: “We have to have support for our vulnerable people. 

“This includes a new cohort of people, the survivors of Covid who have damaged lungs, a damaged heart or damaged kidneys. 

“We need to look at that cohort and what is the best reablement that we an offer them.”

He added that due to the pandemic some of these patients may not have received check ups after they were discharged from hospital.

Dr Gnanapragasam, who is a GP at Stonecot Surgery in Morden, added: “It is important when we restart services to focus on that cohort that did not receive the traditional discharge with six-week follow up or chest x-ray at times because of the acute phase of Covid. 

“I think we need to go after these people in a polite way and rehabilitate them.”

And it is not just the physical health of the population that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Gnanapragasam said that he is concerned about the mental health of teenagers and children who may have not had as much support during the lockdown not being at school.

By Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

July 3, 2020